Le Mans Crash 55

This web reprint of a 1955 Life Magazine article details the death-filled results of the horrific ’55 LeMans Crash. This is the reason they now have barriers between the race cars and the crowd. J.G. Ballard might be interested in the description below.

As the race entered its third hour the cars were breaking records at every lap when Jaguar Driver Mike Hawthorn received a signal from his pit crew to stop for gas. As he braked, an Austin-Healey swerved to avoid him. A few lengths behind, Levegh raised his hand, signaling another Mercedes to slow up. At 150 mph he had no chance to do so himself.

Photo from Wilko’s Healy Page
Hitting the Healey, the Mercedes took off like a rocket, struck the embankment beside the track, hurtled end over end and then disintegrated over the crowd. The hood decapitated tightly jammed spectators like a guillotine. The engine and front axle cut a swath like an artillery barrage. And the car’s magnesium body burst into flames like a torch, burning others to death. In a few searing seconds 82 people were dead and 76 were maimed. Hawthorn, though unnerved, went on to win and set a new record. But few spectators had the enthusiasm to cheer.

Linked from Meme Pool

Wheat Grass

Since last Saturday, we’ve been watching our wheat grass grow. We bought some seeds at Farmer’s Market and damn if these suckers don’t grow nearly 2cm per day. We don’t plan to make wheat grass juice out of it, but if this continues to grow apace, we may have to.

Props to the Boss

When I was in high school, I was in a rock band (I was lead screamer). On a few of our songs we used a drum machine, hoping to sound like those Roland 808s we heard on rap records. The closest we could get was a Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-55. Now you can try your hand at a Virtual DR-55 and relive the tinny sound.

Here’s a distressing report about

Here’s a distressing report about The End of Bananas as We Know Them

LONDON (Reuters) – It is one of the world’s favorite fruits, but the banana hasn’t had sex in years and its days may be are numbered.
Without scientific help the sterile, seedless fruit could disappear with 10 years, according to a Belgian plant pathologist.
Emile Frison, the head of the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain in Monpellier, France, said the fruit lacks the genetic diversity to fight off diseases and pests that are plaguing banana plantations and only biotechnology and genetic manipulation may be able to save it.

Photo from World Food Habits Bibliography
Future inventions: Banana Viagra, Banana Hookers, Banana Sex Therapist


The part of me that is secretly a 14-year-old Japanese schoolgirl really loves Afro Ken, the mascot whose hair adapts, chameleon-like, to whatever he sidles up to. And now there’s this, the proud winners of the Afro Ken Look-a-like Competition. How cool is that?

However, you could take collecting cute character products to an extreme, say Band-Aids. At least they’re not used Band-Aids. Eww.

Iranian Man on a Bike=terrorist!

Give me your tired, your sick, your huddled masses…but please don’t give me an Iranian cyclist on a worldwide tour for peace. We’ll lock him up. Way to go, Arizona!

Iranian cyclist’s peace tour stopped cold in Ariz.
Dennis Wagner
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 13, 2003 12:00 AM
FLORENCE – Iranian bicyclist Reza Khoshvravesh Baluchi traveled through six continents on a world tour for peace, but now he runs in circles at an INS detention center.
Smiling like a little boy about to begin recess, Baluchi follows a guard into the visitation room, opens a scruffy binder and produces his introductory note, hand-printed in child-like English:
My name is Reza Balouche. I’m from Iran. I lift my country in 1996 in my way to Eurap on bickal (bicycle). My goal is to try peac betwin Iran and USA. I don’t like violence. I like peac and freeadem . . .
In broken English, he tells of pedaling 46,000 miles before his travels came to an abrupt halt two months ago at the hands of U.S. Border Patrol agents.

That’ll teach you a lesson about peace’n’love, Mr. Brown-skinned Terrorist Person!

Potsmokers aren’t terrorists

Those TV ads that try to equate a pot smoker with a bomb wielding terrorist were not only facetious, but just begging to be parodied the first time they were shown. And seeings a recent study proved that most SUV drivers are assholes, I’m totally behind this new TV ad campaign by Americans for Fuel Efficient Cars that equate such drivers with terrorists. After all, I’d rather roll a spliff than roll over and crush my spine. Plus, isn’t the administration’s aim in equating drug takers with terrorists a way to excuse putting more black and brown people in jail?